In Iraq, sex is traded for survival

Al Jazeera News • August 13, 2007

By Afif Sarhan in Baghdad

When Rana Jalil, 38, lost her husband in an explosion in Baghdad last year, she could never have imagined becoming a prostitute in order to feed her children.

A mother of four, Jalil sought out employment, but job opportunities for women had decreased since the US invasion.

“I think of my children, only my children; without money we starve in the streets.”

She begged shop owners, office workers and companies to hire her but was treated with what she calls chauvinistic discrimination.

Within weeks of her husband’s death, a doctor diagnosed her children with malnutrition.

Fighting tears, she recalled the desperation which led her to the oldest profession: “In the beginning these were the worst days in my life. My husband was the first man I met and slept with, but I didn’t have another option … my children were starving.”

She left the house in a daze, she recalled, and walked to the nearest market to find someone who would pay her for sex.

She said: “I’m a nice-looking woman and it wasn’t difficult to find a client……………”

Continue with the full story here>>>

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